How to lie with scaling

Occasionally, things go exactly as I’d hoped. We’re discussing scaling in my Physics of Life class, starting with things like the scaling of volume and area with size. I mentioned in passing that this issue comes up in advertising, and since students seemed interested, I brought the following to the next class — an interactive … Continue reading How to lie with scaling

Readings in Biophysics, part II (Readings not in Biophysics)

I’ll continue writing on useful or interesting readings in biophysics — Part I, a few weeks ago, dealt with textbooks.  There are many technical or scientific books that either aren’t actually about biophysics, or that are about a narrow aspect of biophysics, that are nonetheless particularly useful or stimulating. Here are some that come to … Continue reading Readings in Biophysics, part II (Readings not in Biophysics)

(Another) bad graph

I like graphs. At their best they are useful, elegant, and thought-provoking. At their worst, they’re infuriating. Modern systems-ish biology seems to have an abundance of awful graphs, even in good papers (as noted earlier, for example), perhaps because the complex statistical procedures it often uses are hard to make sense of. There’s no excuse … Continue reading (Another) bad graph